In today’s “I want it now” world of instant gratification, when is the right time to get sexually involved with our new partner? Is it the third date? After one month? Or, waiting until we know we love one another?
Based on our years of working with couples we’ve come to recognize the value in creating some conscious personal guidelines around dating and sex.
Without a dating strategy we may become sexual before we have any clear idea about “who this person is that I’m dating.”
Most of us are not conscious of any dating guidelines because we never took the time to figure them out. Instead of creating healthy boundaries for ourselves, we get hijacked by our hormones, which don’t exactly activate the smartest end of our bodies.
Some people (including our daughters) tell us, “that’s just the way the world is now.” Well, as long as what you’re doing is working for you, keep doing it. But, if you haven’t created the kind of relationship you want, consider a new strategy.
Aside from hormones, we’re pretty sure that the rush to sex has a lot to do with the fear of loss. You may think you risk losing his or her interest if you don’t get intimate with this person soon enough.
But more likely, you risk losing this person’s respect and your own self-respect for seeming too desperate and moving too fast. Actually, if the person you’re dating is not willing to wait before becoming sexual, they probably don’t have the maturity you’re looking for in a long-term partner.
It’s wise to have a dating strategy—and a relating strategy—so that you consciously create the kind of relationship you want—unless you’re just looking for a romp; not a relationship. Give yourself the time to get to know what you like or don’t like about the person you’re dating, and then with a more complete perspective of who this person is, you can decide what’s best for yourself.
Opening yourself slowly is a sign of self-respect. It’s a way of saying, “You must earn entrance into my life, my psyche, my body. The more you prove yourself, the more I open to you.” If you open too quickly, you devalue yourself.
Think of what you have to offer as precious . . . not to be casually offered to anyone. Let them earn the right. If they are mature enough, they’ll want to earn the right. In fact, if they are truly looking for a lasting partnership, they’ll probably find you more intriguing if they have to earn your love and respect.
Most people we work with regret getting sexual too soon and none that we know regret waiting.
Click here to see our Dating ∞ Relating ∞ Mating video to learn more about our approach to creating successful romantic partnerships. We suggest that Dating is a time of ease, honesty and intolerance. Relating (stage 2) is a time to develop your maturity, communication skills and determine if you are truly compatible. If so, you move on to the Mating stage (long term commitment) which is about deepening your commitment, captivating one another and celebrating your love.